Welcome back to our 12-part self-care series, designed to put you back on the list of important things that need your attention every day.
Express: “to give or convey a true impression of,” or “to make known the opinions or feelings of (oneself)” (Merriam-Webster)
Repress: “to prevent the natural or normal expression, activity, or development of” (Merriam-Webster)
Expressing your true feelings can boost your self-care in many ways. When you’re honest about what you want and need from others, it strengthens your relationships and gets you the support you need. Of course in order to be honest with others you need to first be honest with yourself, though you may need some help getting there.
Releasing your pent up emotions can help you move forward towards healing. If you feel nervous to talk about and what you’re going through, there are many creative ways to approach this inner work. Consider some of these:
- Writing and journaling
- Creative therapies using music and art
- Structured art activities such as SoulCollage® (Sandee Nebel is a SoulCollage® facilitator), or other activities like doodling
- Yoga-based therapy
What’s most important is that you get those feelings out instead of holding them in. Hiding your feelings from others can lead to misunderstandings and resentments in your relationships, and can be even more harmful to your emotional health. That’s because repressed thoughts and feelings can develop into depression or other serious issues.
Keep in mind that not everyone in your life may be equipped or open to dealing with strong emotions. If you’re feeling angry at someone else, it’s best to express that in a safe place before you confront that person. When you’re in the midst of strong emotions, it’s very difficult to have a constructive or productive conversation and you could even damage the relationship beyond repair.
A therapist or therapy group or a close friend can offer a supportive, listening ear when you need to get something out. And remember – if you don’t feel like talking, maybe your body can talk for you.